Green Weddings: All the Fun, Half the Guilt

By Azure Nelson, Published Sep 10, 2009

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Here in Chicago, the holiday is a good excuse to turn everything green, from the river to the beer, to the way you feel around the gills the next morning. But, last month I had the chance to interview Wenona Napolitano, the author of The Everything Green Wedding Book and ever since then I’ve been stuck on green, as in environmentally helpful. Even if you wear a gown made of 100% organic hemp grown in your neighbor’s backyard and made on a solar-powered sewing machine, your wedding still has a negative impact on the environment. Don’t feel bad, living your life in 21st Century America has a negative impact on the environment as well. One way to feel a little better is carbon offsets. Basically, you figure out how big a negative impact your wedding is having. Sites like TerraPass, CarbonFund, or Carbon Footprint have handy calculators to help you figure it out. Then, you purchase “offsets” to help reduce your pollution, and your guilt. You can either purchase these offsets yourself, or on some of these sites you can set up a “gift registry” where your wedding guests can give to the Earth, instead of to you (yes, you do still have to write a thank-you note). So, what do you think, would you forgo some gifts in order to go green? Do you have other great ideas for making your wedding a little more earth-friendly? And most importantly, do you find the idea of green beer nauseating or intriguing?

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